Updates from week one of the Bonn climate meeting: uneven progress on technical issues

Bonn, 22 June 2019: Mid-way through the intersessional UN climate negotiations in Bonn, CAN members say progress has been sluggish on countries’ cooperation to meet their Paris commitments or Article 6, on loss and damage and the implementation cycle of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), known as common timeframes.

Civil society set clear expectations for decisions and final texts in Bonn that reflect the needs on the ground to address impacts with adequate finance and support and to heed the calls by youth from around the world for elevated and more rapid climate ambition, commitments and action. Countries need to step up to their moral obligation to solve the climate crisis and prevent passing the burden to future generations in line with inter-generational equity and justice. Currently, what is happening outside the UNFCCC process doesn’t match the inside.

The metrics of success in these negotiations for Article 6, which allows countries to cooperate to meet their NDCs through international transfers of mitigation outcomes, is a text that narrows options on key issues. These include prevention of double counting, a good direction on the transition of the Kyoto protocol mechanisms, and clear safeguards to prevent human rights abuses.

The review of the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) on loss and damage and discussions on common timeframes to implement NDCs are not yet complete with both areas of convergence and disagreements between parties still playing out.

Quotes:

Brad Schallert, Deputy Director, International Climate Cooperation, WWF said:

“There is a little bit of a difference in terms of the tone and the cooperative spirit of what’s happening in the Article 6 room because there is such political pressure to come up with solutions, all parties are feeling that. There seems to be real desire to not just restate positions but to try to signal that they are ready to bridge gaps. There is some hostage-taking where some countries are saying if we don’t like how this turns out in the end we might revert back to our original positions but there seems to be real desire to come up with a new text at some point.”

Leia Achampong, Policy Officer, Climate Justice, Act Alliance EU, said:

“What is particularly concerning that when attending some of the informal open sessions on the WIM review process and development of the terms of reference, some delegates are saying that they don’t expect the outcomes of the review that will take place in COP25 to be taken forward until the executive committee of the WIM on loss and damage has its own review next year, which means there would be a year of inaction. Climate impacts are taken place now and having repercussions on agriculture, on global food trade, causing climate-induced displacement. What we need to see in reaction to the urgency of climate change is that there isn’t a year of inaction taking place. The outcomes and recommendations of the review that takes place in COP25 actually need to be implemented as soon as the COP is over, it can’t be that there is time period of wait up until COP26 when then the executive committee takes into account these recommendations.”

 “As CAN, we would urge that those outcomes are immediately taken into account and that the third pillar of the WIM on loss and damage is immediately operationalized to ensure that there is support in the form of capacity building, finance and technology transfer.”

Jeffrey Qi, Policy Analyst & Coordinator, Climate Change, BC Council for International Cooperation, said:

“We need to have a single five-year common time frame. A five-year common time frame will avoid locking in low ambition in NDCs, it will harness rapidly evolving real-world opportunities like economic, social, political and scientific technological progress. It will incentivize early action instead of delayed action on climate mitigation and lastly aligns better with the whole Paris climate regime with NDCs being communicated every five years and the global stock-take taking place every five years.”

“This single five-year common timeframe will match the ambition cycle. It is very crucial to ensure that the Paris Agreement serves its purpose and is able to deliver this ambitious action that the world urgently needs.”

“There is general consensus amongst parties at this session, that NDCs will be communicated in 2025 (for actions post 2031) that means there will be a domestic planning period between 2025 and 2031. Since we have this consensus, it is very important to have the textual guidance in the final decision to avoid any ambiguity or confusion, any misunderstanding regarding this domestic planning period.”

“Parties must leave Bonn with a deadline to have a decision on common time frames because we can’t let these negotiations go all the way until 2022 and 2023 because there are some parties that are planning for their 2025 NDCs beginning 2020 and need this guidance to understand the length of the time frame they are planning for.”

Sandeep Chamling Rai, Senior Advisor on Climate Adaption Policy, WWF Singapore

“It’s great to see how the youth is mobilizing around the world. These marches are going on a massive scale…the message they are giving is loud and clear… we as civil society engaged in the UNFCCC process need to take into account those messages and how that can replicate in the UNFCCC process.”

“We see banners and posters calling strongly for climate action now and the UNFCCC needs to hear that clear message and try to add that in an educate manner in this period. We as adults mostly from developed as well as developing countries have created this mess. We need to resolve this mess we have created within our lifetime. Let’s not let our children and future generations take that burden because that’s not equity and justice.”

“All countries need to raise ambition… and more action on adaptation is critical. It is the moral obligation of developed countries to provide support.”

Written by Hala Kilani, Senior Communications Officer, CAN

For follow up in Bonn, contact:

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org / whatsapp +918826107830

About CAN
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on www.climatenetwork.org